It may not seem like it for Spurs fans because as far as the team is concerned they've been out of the news cycle for over a month now, but the NBA off-season has just started. Now stuff is about to get real and we can get down to the roster-bating (h/t Grant Brisbee).
There are events and deadlines in the offing, so let's mark our calendars now so these things don't catch you unawares.
June 22 (Wednesday!): Deadline for Manu Ginobili and David West to exercise their player-options.
We've already seen reports that West will decline his
but you might be surprised to learn I'm actually far more concerned with Ginobili's decision. Like Jeff McDonald of the Express-News explains here, Ginobili potentially declining wouldn't necessarily mean he's retiring, but it sure won't help the cause for those holding out hope that he isn't.
June 23 (Thursday!): 2016 NBA Draft. Which I may or may not cover live. It's pending! But just know going in so that your intelligence won't be insulted that I don't know a thing about any of the prospects --the Eastern Conference is slumming for me, so watching college ball is out of the question-- and that I'm firmly of the opinion that the Spurs actually draft someone they think can help them right away instead of another draft-and-stash. Controversial stance, I know.
June 29: Deadline for Tim Duncan to exercise his player-option. Oh, that other franchise legend and all-time great is also pondering whether to retire or not. For what it's worth, Buck Harvey of the Express-News, who's as plugged into the Spurs as anyone, seems to think he's done. As with Ginobili, Duncan can decline the option and then decide to come for even less money, or for more. Obviously, we shouldn't begrudge him, whatever he wants to do.
June 30: Deadline to waive Boris Diaw before his contract is fully guaranteed. The Spurs owe Bobo $6.5 million for 2016-17 and $7 million for 2017-18 or they can just bid him adieu and buy him out for $3 million, which would count toward as "dead money" in the salary cap. Diaw is 34, and wasn't very good last season, but considering that the Spurs are probably going to lose West and the league's financial reality, with the cap set to increase from $70 million to $94 million next season and $113 million the next, he's probably worth hanging on to.
July 1: Free agency begins. No big deal, really, it's not like the Spurs ever sign anyone you've heard of.
July 1-6: Free agency moratorium period. A.K.A. When you spend more time with Adrian Wojnarowski's Twitter account than you do with your family.
July 7: Spurs can officially sign free agents. Maybe they can talk Kevin Durant into the veteran's minimum? How bad do you really want to win a ring, really?
July 28th: Manu turns 39. That's sub-optimal for an NBA guard, but less sub-optimal than not having Ginobili in our lives.